Natural Remedies for 3 Common Pregnancy Conditions
Pregnancy often comes with aches, swelling and morning-sickness - none of which are exactly uplifting and can quickly overshadow the joy of carrying your little bundle.
Although there are many OTC treatments that can quell your woes, if you like keeping things natural, you'll want to try the remedies below that promise to have you feeling better in no time.
Constipation during pregnancy occurs for a few different reasons. One is that the hormone, relaxin, that softens your joints and cervix in preparation for labor also slows the action of digestion. Progesterone, another hormone, spikes during pregnancy and also affects digestion.
In addition, you'll also have to deal with your expanding uterus putting pressure on your intestines, yikes!
- Diet: Aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber through whole grains, fruits and veggies. Also, add healthy fats to your diet. Avocados and nuts will help to lubricate the bowels. Other foods to consider in alleviating constipation are prunes, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and plums.
- Hydrate: Aim for 10 to 12 cups of fluids per day, as sufficient liquid intake is needed for proper digestion and to soften stools. This is especially important when you increase fiber to help avoid intestinal blockage.
- Get Moving: Exercise keeps the digestive system moving and functioning optimally. It can also help you relax, which in turn helps the digestive system to relax.
Swelling is very common and almost expected because of the extra fluid needed for amniotic fluids and to support the increase in blood volume. However, it can not only be unsightly, but quite uncomfortable too.
- Elevate your feet. Just in case you needed another reason to put your feet up! Keeping your legs elevated above your heart encourages fluid to drain and relieves some of the pressure.
- Stay Active. So rest, but not too much. Gentle exercise encourages blood circulation to help alleviate excess swelling in the body. Good options include walking, swimming, yoga.
- Potassium. Avocado, dark greens and bananas are good sources.
Up to 85% of women will be affected in varying degrees by nausea and vomiting. Contrary to what the name suggests, morning sickness can strike at any time of day.
- Ginger. Ginger has long been touted as a stomach soother, and studies have shown that it may help quell the queasies. Fresh ginger can be cut and grated into plain hot water or tea.
- Avoid Strong Odors. Skip the perfumes and scented candles. Opt for skincare products that are neutral or low-smelling.
- Eat Often. Consume 5-6 meals a day, to keep blood sugar stable. If you find it hard to keep food down, crackers and ginger ale are the two most common foods associated with combating nausea.